New Implant Manufacturing Platform Drives Shift to Digital

March 31, 2017
Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN

3D Systems is now offering a modular dental printing devices that it says will prove beneficial for smaller dental laboratories and practices. The company says the printer will cut down on printing time and wasted material. 3D Systems says its new printer can make 20-30 crowns in about 15 minutes.

A new printing platform could be the start of a new era in dental implant manufacturing. 3D Systems, a company focused on the creation and sale of 3D products and services, has entered the dental market with a new, modular printing device that will enable smaller laboratories or dental practices to produce thousands of crowns and other dental products each year.

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The new printing technology is based on the company’s Figure 4 technology and NextDent materials. 3D Systems expects the new printer to be able to significantly reduce fabrication times and use far less material to produce dental products. The company anticipates this will allow crowns and other dental implants to be fabricated at much less cost and with much less material waste than current manufacturing methods.

Vyomesh Joshi, President and CEO of 3D Systems, says, “Traditional milling machines only mill one crown at a time, making the process slow, ineffective and costly. Our system can print 20-30 crowns in fewer than 15 minutes, which is the same time it takes most milling solutions to produce just one single crown.”

The company plans to offer a system that will allow smaller dental laboratories to produce thousands of dental products each year. Larger labs will also see benefits, as the company expects their fully automated technology to be able to produce more than one million crowns or other dental implants every year.

Dentists and patients can benefit from the use of 3D printing technology. Many dentists already use 3D scanners during patient treatment, and these scans could be used to make 3D printed items like crowns that have a more accurate, comfortable fit. Also, 3D printing can produce a finished product much faster than traditional milling techniques.

3D Systems plans to begin shipment of the new printing platform in late 2017. Demonstrations of the new system were featured at the 2017 International Dental Show.

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